We discovered this three-in-one historic site during a road trip from Córdoba to Antequera. It is located on road 7201 between Villanueva de Algaidas and Cuevas Bajas, about 30 km from Antequera.
The landmark ruins are those of a Franciscan Convent named Conventos de Ntra. Sra. de La Consolación. It was founded by the first Duke of Osuna, Pedro Téllez de Girón, in 1566. Its present ruinous state is mainly due to the Civil War.
The walls of the single-nave church still stand, next to these are the remains of dwellings of the Franciscan monks. In the bay of one window some polychrome fresco paintings including the Franciscan coat of arms can still be admired.
Passing through the church one reaches two caves excavated in the rock by Mozarabs in the 9th or 10th century The Mozarabs were Christians who lived here under Moorish rule. The larger cave is thought to have served as chapel, the smaller one as living room for hermits.
Left of the complex (when facing it) passes the GR-7 E-4 long distance European walking trail, that runs from Athens to Tarifa. Close by on this trail is a medieval bridge, known as Puente Viejo or Puente del Arroyo del Bebedero. In ancient times this bridge connected nearby villages of La Atalaya and La Rincona.
The sturdy construction of the bridge with stone ashlars and brick joined by mortar enables it to be used until today. At both sides of the main span are two smaller openings to let more water through in case of flooding in the rainy season. Hard to imagine when one sees only a trickle of - crystal clear - water in the river bed.
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